Much as I would be delighted to see you coaching the Boks for another hundred years or so, I must admit that it would give me even greater pleasure to hear that on your arrival back from France, you walked into your boss man’s office, climbed on his desk and peed in his ashtray.
Because, let’s face it, Jake, you won the World Cup for us in spite of everything those self-serving, narrow-minded sods threw at you. Not to mention some politicians who also threw enough obstacles in your path to make even a brave big fellow like Os turn tail and run away crying for his mommy.
We could feel the politics even at the final. For example, when the team hoisted President Mbeki on to their shoulders, I swear I could hear Jacob Zuma yelling: “Drop, drop, drop!”
But, it was great stuff, Jake. You should have seen what was going on back home here. Everyone — blacks, whites, yellows — were all green for a week. This whole country went completely bos.
Shops had their staff dressed in green and gold and were pumping sakkie-sakkie rugby songs out of their PA systems at full blast as they psyched up shoppers and added another few million bucks to Leon Schuster’s bank balance.
It was such powerful stuff that down in Fish Hoek where a lot of Brits live during their winter months, the sakkie-sakkie was so overwhelming that I saw at least half-a-dozen geriatric Poms stripping naked and covering themselves in fish oil, then running down to the beach and hurling themselves into the sea desperately looking for great white sharks and shouting: “Lunchtime, lunchtime!”
Frankly, Jake, I think you had the toughest job of all. All the team had to do was pay attention to what you were telling them, run on to the field a few times, tackle the odd Argy, Fijian and Englishman, and every now and then give the ball to Habana to saunter over for a try and ask Percy to boot it over.
For four years you had to weather a storm of criticism as rugby administrators and politicians questioned your every move, attacked your every selection and generally bombarded you with every possible obstruction imaginable.
Now, of course, they’ll all claim responsibility for having given you their undivided support; for having put 110% faith and trust in you; how they have always thought you were such a jolly good fellow and how the past four years have been so hunky-dory and brimful of cooperation and sweetness that winning the World Cup was a piece of koeksister.
But listen, Jake, don’t believe a single, double-dealing word of it. Just remember that these guys have won the World Cup of Treachery for 20 years running.
Don’t sink to their level. Hold your head up high, straighten your tie, face them with a smile on your face, and with your hand on your heart say: “No hard feelings, gentlemen …”
Then pee in their ashtrays.
Yours faithfully (except for the times Australia beat us)